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  Home > About Lab Medicine & Pathology > Faculty and Staff > Khalil Ahmed, Ph.D.

Khalil Ahmed, Ph.D.

LMP Faculty Khalil Ahmed
Contact Information

Phone: 612-467-2594
Fax: 612-725-2093




MMC 609 Mayo
420 Delaware
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Research Interests

Signaling in Abnormal and Normal Cell Growth

The major focus of our research is to determine the molecular mechanisms that control cell growth, proliferation, and apoptosis. Our investigations are aimed at understanding the signaling in prostate cancer (PCa) and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Protein kinase CK2 (formerly casein kinase II or 2) is the biochemical paradigm for our studies. This protein kinase signal plays a critical role in cell growth and proliferation, and our recent work has also established it as a major modulator of the apoptotic activity in the cell. The importance of CK2 in cancer relates to the consistently observed dysregulation of this kinase in all the cancers that have been examined. The ability of CK2 to promote cell growth as well as suppress apoptosis links the kinase to cancer biology as cancer cells are characterized by dysregulation not only of proliferation but also of apoptosis. An important aspect CK2 is that this signal has the potential of serving as a target for inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. Current studies in our laboratory are focused on this aspect as well as on defining the mechanism of CK2 mediated suppression of apoptosis. Many of the CK2 functions related to cell growth and cell death are mediated via its signaling to the nuclear structures (such as chromatin and nuclear matrix). As such, we are interested in delineating the mechanism of these signaling events. Investigations in our laboratory have made the initial proof of principle observations on the potential targeting of CK2 for cancer therapy by antisense CK2 mediated molecular downregulation of CK2. A novel nanoparticle approach is also being developed for delivering the antisense specifically to the tumor cells in vivo. The experimental studies in the laboratory employ diverse range of biochemical, cell biological, and molecular biological techniques.

Educational Background

  • Panjab University, Lahore, Pakistan (1954), B.Sc. Honours
  • Panjab University, Lahore, Pakistan (1955), M.Sc. Honours
  • McGill University, Montreal, Canada (1960), Ph.D.
  • Wistar Institute, Dr. J.D. Judah, University of Pennsylvania, Postdoctoral


  • Trembley JH, Chen Z, Unger G, Slaton J, Kren BT, Van Waes C, Ahmed K. Emergence of protein kinase CK2 as a key target in cancer therapy. Biofactors. 2010 May-Jun;36(3):187-95.
  • Wang G, Ahmad KA, Harris NH, Ahmed K. Impact of protein kinase CK2 on inhibitor of apoptosis proteins in prostate cancer cells. Mol Cell Biochem. 2008 Sep;316(1-2):91-7.
  • Ahmad KA, Harris NH, Johnson AD, Lindvall HCN, Wang G, Ahmed K: Protein kinase CK2 modulates apoptosis induced by resveratrol and EGCG in prostate cancer cells. Mol Canc Therap 6: 1006-1012, 2007.
  • He H, Tan M, Pamarthy D, Ahmed K, Sun Y: CK2-mediated phosphorylation of SAG at Thr 10 regulates its stability but not its E3 ligase activity. Mol Cell Biochem 295: 179-188, 2007.
  • Wang G, Ahmad KA, Unger G, Slaton JW, Ahmed K: CK2 signaling in androgen-dependent and ­independent prostate cancer. J Cell Biochem 99: 382-391, 2006.
  • Ahmad KA, Wang G, Ahmed K: Intracellular Hydrogen Peroxide Production is an Upstream Event in Apoptosis Induced by Downregulation of CK2 in Prostate Cancer Cells. Mol Cancer Res 4: 331-338, 2006.
  • Kramerov AA, Saghizadeh M, Pan H, Kabosova A, Montenarh M, Ahmed K, Penn JS, Chan CK, Hinton DR, Grant MB, Ljubimov AV: Expression of protein kinase CK2 in astroglial cells of normal and neovascularized retina. Amer J Path 168: 1722-1736, 2006.
  • Wang G, Ahmad KA, Ahmed K: Role of CK2 in regulation of TRAIL induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Canc Res 66: 2242-2249, 2006.
  • Ahmad KA, Wang G, Slaton J, Unger G, Ahmed K: Targeting CK2 for Cancer Therapy. Anti-Cancer Drugs 16:1037-1043, 2005.
  • Wang G, Ahmad KA, Ahmed K: Modulation of receptor mediated apoptosis by CK2. Mol Cell Biochem 274: 201-205, 2005.
  • Wang G, Unger G, Ahmad KA, Slaton JW, Ahmed K: Downregulation of CK2 induces apoptosis in cancer cells – A potential approach to cancer therapy. Mol Cell Biochem 274: 77-84, 2005.
  • Ahmed K, Cochet C, Issinger O-G, Litchfield DW: Preface. Mol Cell Biochem 274: 1-2, 2005.

For a complete listing of Dr. Ahmed's publications, search PubMed.


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